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More Changes Coming in Gulf Coast Spill Compensation Process

Kenneth Feinberg, the independent administrator charged with doling out the $20 billion BP set aside for compensating victims of the Gulf oil spill, said this weekend that he would make a number of changes to the claims process in order to expedite payments.

The changes come as oil spill victims have accused Feinberg of making too many promises he couldn’t keep before he took over the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, including that individual claims would be processed within 48 hours. Many Gulf coast residents have been waiting for weeks to get paid, though Feinberg blames many of the delays on applications with a lack of adequate documentation.

The Associated Press lays out the changes:

According to Feinberg, claims from now on will be sorted by industry to allow those reviewing the claims to apply a more specific, uniform set of standards when deciding how much a person or business will be paid. Feinberg did not provide details, and it was unclear if the new processing guidelines would benefit people in industries not directly tied to the ocean or simply make payments to victims in industries that are being compensated more consistent.

Claims still will be reviewed individually but they will be clustered so they are easier to compare, he said.

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